Friday, May 12, 2006

I Don't Hate Mark Fuhrman

Does that make me a bad person?

Last night I skimmed through Mark Fuhrman’s new book on the JFK assassinations, A Simple Act of Murder: November 22, 1963. For those of you who don’t know, since the OJ Simpson trial, Fuhrman has started a new life as a private detective and author (and apparently a regular guest on conservative talk shows). His book Murder in Greenwich, claimed that Michael Skakel was responsible for the killing of Martha Moxley – Skakel was later convicted of the murder.

His book about Kennedy’s assassination seems to be well researched and objective. It isn’t afraid to criticize previous investigations like the Warren Commission, without dismissing their evidence. With a mild curiosity in this subject, I have seen a few of the reports that have come out over years. Most of them revolve around reenactments because serious analysis of bullet speed, angles, and fragments are not exciting enough for TV. This book covers all of that. Fuhrman sticks to his strength and skills as a detective and goes where the evidence seems to take him.

In the end, he finds what most other objective analyses of the assassination find; Lee Harvey Oswald probably acted alone. He fired three bullets, each one hitting the motorcade. This is really the main place he diverges from the Warren Commission. Based on his look at the evidence, one bullet hit Kennedy’s shoulder, one hit Governor Connally (going through his back, out his chest, through his wrist and lodging into his thigh), and then the third bullet was the fatal head wound to Kennedy. Fuhrman finds the magic bullet theory, that one bullet inflicted Kennedy’s shoulder wound and all of Connelly’s wounds, highly unlikely (although it isn’t as ridiculous as Oliver Stone’s movie JFK makes it out to be). Fuhrman acknowledges that there is missing evidence and the investigation was mishandled from the beginning, but he finds no indication that there was a conspiracy to murder President Kennedy.

Fuhrman may be a racist, but his detective work really seems to be excellent. Hopefully, Furhman will continue his work on unsolved cases. Unfortunately, there are few unsolved cases like Martha Moxley's murder and the JFK assassination that would be as public and bring him as much attention.